Starting pitcher C.J. Strange turned in a good game, striking out two. (photo/Steven Walker)

Williston Baseball Rolls Over Dunnellon

The Williston baseball team won their fifth straight game, beating Dunnellon 11-5 to improve their overall record to 7-1.

From the very start, fielding errors plagued the visiting Dunnellon Tigers. A team that only made two errors in its previous three games, the Tigers did not come ready to play on the defensive side of the game, and it cost them in the end.

On the other end, the Red Devils were able to put the ball in play and capitalize off Tiger mistakes. Pitcher C.J. Strange also gave Williston a good start, striking out two and allowing three earned runs over three innings.

The Bottom of the Third

Up until the bottom half of the third inning, Williston held a modest 1-0 lead after Cade Welborn hit an RBI fielder’s choice in the first inning.

However, things really unraveled for the Tigers in the bottom half of the third after shortstop Drew Leinenbach made an error on a ball with the bases loaded, allowing one man to score. After that, it was just a medley of fielding mistakes including passed balls, overthrows from the catcher, and missed fly balls that allowed the Red Devils to jump out to such a formidable lead early in the game.

Tiger starting pitcher Pierson Graham gave the team multiple chances to get out of the inning but his defense let him down.  Eventually, after the Red Devils went up 9-0, Richard Fox came on in relief for Dunnellon and struck out the first hitter he saw to get out of the inning.

An Answer From the Tigers

Facing a daunting 9-0 deficit, the Tigers continued to fight. To start off the fourth inning, outfielder Jay Fraziars reached on an error and in the following at-bat, cleanup hitter Jonathan Santiago drilled a ball to deep left field and over the wall for a two run home run.

Third baseman Tyler St. Jean was able to add another on an RBI double that brought the score to 9-3. However, Parker Seay took over on the mound for C.J. Strange and struck out three straight batters, getting out of the jam.

Getting on Base

After both teams went to the bullpen, they got runners on base towards the middle of the game. Kenny Richardson came in relief for Fox and did his job, for the most part, giving up only two earned runs over four innings pitched and keeping their deficit stabilized.

However, the Tigers were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position. After loading the bases in the fifth inning with one out, they were only able to put up two runs before Seay struck out two straight to avoid any significant threat.

Closing Time

It was all said and done as soon as closing pitcher Gabe Foster entered for the Red Devils. Foster came on in the top of the sixth inning and struck out the first three batters he saw who just happened to be the 1, 2 and 3 hitters in the order.

In the seventh inning, Dunnellon was able to piece together a couple of hits but ultimately fell short of creating any spark. Foster grabbed the save over two innings of work, allowing no earned runs and the Red Devils took home a significant win against a difficult opponent in the Tigers.

Mikey Rey turned in a great game, going 2 for 3 with two RBI and Logan Head also made an impact with two hits and three RBI.

The Red Devils will look to continue their winning streak playing at North Marion on Thursday and Dunnellon will look to bounce back at Belleview.

About Parker Fluke

I'm a third-year student at the University of Florida passionate about storytelling and sportswriting. My goal is to work in communications for a professional sports team after I graduate.

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